Not every Chinoy parent is a fan of their children entering the field of sports. It’s almost the same as wanting to enter the arts, to which Chinoy parents would refuse and instead, push their kids to go for something more “practical”.
Despite this, Chinoy athlete Martin Angelo Leehuekee overcame this Chinoy norm and tradition by not just being a track and field athlete but even training younger players of the sport.
Leehuekee is very passionate when it comes to his sport, track and field. Specifically, he competes for the race walking event, which he admits is not known to many people. Leehuekee does not let this discourage him and instead, it fuels him to perform better and have his sport gain more recognition. In 2019, he participated in the Ayala Philippine Athletic Championship, where he won the bronze award for the 10km race walk.
Because of this sport, he is able to achieve things he never thought he could when he was younger. “Being able to play the sport while representing my schools was something I take pride in,” he shared.
Given his passion for track and field, this also drove Leehuekee to go the extra mile and train young athletes. This was of his own volition and was not for a school facilitated community event, showing how much Leehuekee is willing to give for the sport. Teaching younger athletes meant training with them everyday and pushing them beyond their limits.
Being with them for a long time, Leehuekee was able to learn what it truly meant to become one community. “Through my time in this sport and the community, I was able to learn the value of what a community really is and to be a part of that community– to give my time and effort to join them and help them while also not neglecting my own self,” he said.
Leehuekee’s success in the track and field sport is a testament to what going beyond borders can do for the Chinoy community. For him, he believes that “going beyond borders should be a necessity instead of a decision. Going beyond borders is going beyond your own self and becoming a part of something greater”.
With the determination and drive of an athlete and the heart to share his talent to younger generations, Leehuekee proves that Chinoys can indeed, go beyond the borders of tradition in pursuit of a more empowered and impactful Chinoy community capable of making positive changes in society.